Acne is an incredibly common condition that affects both men and women, but there is still much confusion about acne causes and treatments. Here, Dr Maria Gonzalez of The Specialist Skin Clinic, answers some of the frequently asked questions she receives at her Cardiff & London Acne Clinic.
I read that acne is caused by testosterone, so why should it affect me as I’m a girl?
Women have testosterone too, just at much lower levels to men. However, during puberty both boys and girls have increased levels of testosterone because it stimulates muscle and bone growth. Sebaceous glands are sensitive to hormone changes and these increased testosterone levels will also stimulate sebum production.
Does acne run in families?
There is no definitive data, but it is thought that if both your parents had acne, you’re more likely to develop it.
Is acne caused by poor diet?
So far, there has been no definitive link found between food and acne. However, you should always eat a healthy, balanced diet as it is good for your overall health.
Is acne caused by having a dirty face?
The process whereby acne develops is happening below the skin’s surface so the cleanliness or otherwise of your skin should not be a factor. Washing or exfoliating your skin can remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin that can contribute to blockages in the follicles, but over-cleansing the skin can actually make it more sensitive. Also many of the products marketed for acne that are available over-the-counter can irritate the skin because they are too harsh.
Should I squeeze my spots to get rid of them?
Definitely not; squeezing can push the infected material further into the skin, causing it to spread deeper and wider. Even worse, if excessive force is used it can cause scarring, which is a common side effect of acne. Dr Maria Gonzalez will not only treat the active acne, but can also provide treatments that aim to reduce the appearance of acne scarring for her acne patients.